Audiobooks Are My Jam

The first time I listened to an audiobook was when The Hunger Games came out. People were raving about the book, but the hold list on ten copies at my library was crazy long. The audiobook was available right away so downloaded, but hated it. The narrator spoke too slowly, I was easily distracted so I had to go back and listen to parts of it over again, and I felt totally disconnected. I quit after about an hour.

(Side note: I ended up checking out a hard copy of The Hunger Games a few months later and still didn't like it so I returned it without finishing. When I saw a trailer for the movie I got excited about it, bought the trilogy, and read all of them in a week. I still don't know why it took me so long to like the first book. Dystopian YA is not my thing, but those books are pretty great.)

A few years later, I thought I'd try again and downloaded another buzzy book, Room. I couldn't handle it at all. The narrator had an annoying kid voice and spoke way too slowly, so I stopped after ten minutes. (I recently read this book and enjoyed it much more in my own head.)

Jacob and I are senior citizens and sometimes listen to NPR and news radio when we're in the car without the kids. I've also listened to This American Life when an episode is recommended to me. But I still scoffed at the idea of listening to an audiobook. Last fall I got hooked on Serial, just like the rest of the country, but because I'm ALWAYS with my kids I didn't have much time to listen to it. I had it on in the car while running errands by myself, but also stretched out on the couch at night with headphones on because I had to know what was going to happen. The best thing I discovered with this podcast was the speed adjustment on my phone. I'm a fast talker, probably too fast for most people, and lose my patience with slow (and quiet) talkers, so the ability to change the speed was life changing. Not only did I listen to Sarah Koeing's slow, calm voice at my speed (2x as fast), but it also helped me get through the podcast quicker.

I drive alone at night a few times a month, coming home from Seattle after concerts or musicals. I always listen to music and sometimes call friends, but I felt like another podcast would fill my time better. I asked Twitter what I should listen to, but none of the recommendations came close to Serial for me. Someone told me to try audiobooks instead. I was hesitant, but with knowledge of the speed adjustment, I decided to give it another try. I downloaded, Ashley's War, thinking a non-fiction book might work better for me. I loved it! I was totally engrossed in the story and immediately downloaded two more non-fiction books.

Since then I've listened to two fiction books too. They were a little harder to focus on, probably because they are so descriptive and have more characters, but I'm digging the listening process. I put on my bluetooth headphones and do chores around the house and still listen in the car when I'm alone. I'm breezing through them! The best thing is that the hold list for audiobooks at my library is always so much shorter than ebooks and hard copies. Score!

Are you into audiobooks?


SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I wish I was a better auditory learner - I don't really retain info that way. I have to see the words or write them down.

LOLOL @ senior citizens. MFD is constantly listening to NPR. I even got him a shirt many years ago that says LISTENS TO NPR on the front.

Jana @ Jana Says said...

I don't listen to NPR but I do listen to some of their podcasts. Way less senior citizen like.

I can't do audiobooks. I'd tune them out and miss the whole story. And I'm reading Shotgun Lovesongs right now (literally. As soon as I get off the computer, I'm going to sit on my couch and read it).

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

I need to try this again. I have a 45 minute commute in the morning and afternoon. I could get some "reading" in, but I just don't know that I could take it all in.

Tiffany said...

Justin listens to NPR! Hahaha, senior citizen :)

You know I love me some audiobooks! I am currently listening to Where They Found Her. My first one was The Girl on the Train and I was HOOKED. Although that was an exceptional voice performance. The last one I listened to was a man the entire time and his female impersonation voices were the worst!

Jen @ That's What She Read said...

Yes yes yes! I just got done with In The Unlikely Event and The Wednesday Group!

Lauren said...

I love audiobooks! The narrator has to be good, though, I agree. I did listen to Room and the baby voice got old but it was still oddly fitting. I can't listen to books sped up because I don't like the chipmunk sound. I've listened to a lot of memoirs that way, though, and I really enjoy them. I'm listening to Barbara Walters' now, which sadly isn't read by her but is still interesting.

Gracey Williams said...

I've tried audiobooks but I get so distracted listening to them. My boyfriend and I also listen to NPR but for some reason when I'm in the car, regular talking just can't hold my attention. Guess I might give them another try though!

Breakfast at Gracey's

Kelly said...

Audiobooks are my FAVORITE and I love that necklace!

xx Kelly
Sparkles and Shoes